The story was so evenhanded, so balanced, that readers will have to form their own opinions. Daring.
KEN RHODES, NASHVILLE
A Second Chance
When I received your June 24 issue I had a strong gut reaction to the cover story on Richie Parker (Crime and Punishment)—castrate him and then let him get on with his life, as his victim tries to do the same! However, after reading Gary Smith's powerful, emotional and very fair article, I now think that Parker deserves the opportunity to go to college. He does not deserve a college basketball scholarship, though. Perhaps taking away the most important thing in his life, basketball, would make him begin to understand just what he took away from the young woman he assaulted.
My congratulations to both Gary Smith and photographer Jeffrey Lowe. The story will stay with me for a long time.
MARINA M. JARVIS, McKinney, Texas
As a student at George Washington (one of the schools that abandoned Richie Parker's recruitment amid a sea of controversy), I wrote a research paper on Parker earlier this year. Smith accurately portrayed both sides of the argument, leaving the reader to make his or her own judgment. I believe that Parker does deserve a second chance and feel he was unduly punished through the influence of the media. I would also like to commend Long Island University for having the courage to ignore the media hype and allow Parker the opportunity to redeem himself.
KENT R. GRASSO, Kingston, R.I.
There is no question that what Parker did was wrong; however, he did not act alone. Nowhere in the article was there mention of what happened to Leslie Francis after this incident. The omission of that information leads one to believe that he was able to go on with his life due to the fact that he received no national press. I would like to know what happened to the other guilty party.
SHONA PETTIFORD, Boston
?In June 1995, Francis was sentenced to 1� to 4� years in prison for his part in the act and an unrelated incident. He is incarcerated in an upstate New York correctional facility.—ED.
Rape rips at the heart and tears at the soul. It has been five years since I was raped. I still have nightmares. I still look over my shoulder. I still panic whenever a stranger gets close. Because of a very violent act that lasted 10 minutes, I will be haunted for the rest of my life. Until the day I die, I won't forget. We shouldn't let Richie Parker forget either.
To think because a woman goes on and gets her degree and/or gets married that the pain is diminished is insulting. To offer a rape survivor a scholarship to the same school that her rapist is planning to attend, as George Washington did, is even more insulting.
CAROLE GREENBERG, Redwood City, Calif.
Finally someone had the guts to remind us that Richie Parker's life is not the only one irreparably harmed by his actions. Congratulations to Newsday's Jill Agostino for having the courage to say it and to SI for having sense enough to believe her.
TERRA BAY, San Antonio
After reading Gary Smith's prose snapshots, how can anyone help but think that we live in a much more complex world than mere headlines can show?